Sunday, May 19, 2013
U.S. citizens among those missing in Mexico .
The drug war in Mexico has claimed at least 70,000 lives, but the full death toll may never be known because thousands are searching for relatives who have disappeared. Along the border some of those missing in Mexico are U.S. citizens. “It’s individuals that communicated with their loved ones on a daily basis and all of a sudden they disappear,” said Oscar Hagelseib, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security’s investigations in El Paso. The agency helped Mexico pinpoint the location of a mass grave in the Valley of Juarez last November. “The intelligence was there was a strong possibility there were United States citizens there,” said Hagelseib. Just across the border from El Paso on the outskirts of Juarez, forensic workers dug up the remains of 20 men all were murdered. Some showed signs of torture. Mexico’s Interior Ministry estimates 26,000 people were reported missing during the six years when Felipe Calderon was president and drug violence spiked. Human rights organizations say military and police are behind some disappearances. Whatever the circumstances, in many cases, families are left to search for their missing loved ones on their own. Victim’s advocates are now calling on the Mexican government to create a national DNA database to help match the missing with bodies waiting to be identified in morgues. Relatives in many states have provided authorities with DNA samples...more